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Visit from the World’s Worst Salesmen ing mistakes do we have?” we asked. “It’s all in the report,” replied George. A few minutes later, we found the section and noted that the mistakes weren’t mistakes at all, but were the trade names of our products. We pointed this out to George, who simply said, “Well we can’t catch everything.” But, we thought, this is what you want us to hire you to do. George proceeded to tell us that most managers do not have a clue about Web design and needed experts like them to help them understand meta tags, spiders, search engines, java scripts and other essential elements. “Web masters” he said, “barely understand them themselves.” Our Web master who was sitting across from him wasn’t very pleased at this. “Not only that,” George went on, “CEOs don’t understand people who visit your site and how they think.” Our psychologist CEO wasn’t impressed. By this time, we couldn’t wait to get rid of George; however, we politely asked him for a copy of the report, a list of his services and the fees involved. George told us that he didn’t have any promotional materials with him but that he would send us everything we needed to know together with a copy of the report. As he moved to the door, George’s final comment was, “You know, most managers want to get out their checkbooks at this point and sign up. But I always tell them to wait a couple of weeks and think it over. You should do the same. By the way, what do you guys do here?” We never heard from George again and it’s probably just as well. However, our sales manager used the experience to show his team what not to do on a sales call. George was unprepared, a poor listener, and didn’t ask any question. He knew nothing about us or his own business, didn’t ask for the order and never followed up. Where did his company find him, why did they hire him and how long will it be before they figure out that he cannot produce for them? The shame of it is that his firm could have avoided this if they had screened their applicants for sales positions. You can do this easily, quickly and inexpensively with sales tests. These tests measure such things as: * Sales Aptitude * Sales Responsibility * Sales Work Experience * Sales Skills * Sales Interest * Sales Orientation * Persuasiveness * Sales Potential and a host of other factors essential to effective selling. If you are looking for entry-level, retail sales people, try the Retail Readiness Assessment. This test, developed for the National Retail Federation is the first test to accurately identify people who have the skills and aptitudes that are essential for success in retail environments. The test is easy to administer and the results can be in your hands in minutes. The test can be used to screen new job applicants or to assess the skills of your current staff. The comprehensive report includes a profile of the person and identifies an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. If you need to assess a candidate’s attitude towards sales, there are three choices. One is the Personnel Selection Inventory. It measures the attitudes of job applicants and evaluates retail sales personnel based on their sales aptitude, customer service orientation, job commitment and integrity. It is an inexpensive and highly reliable way to pre-screen applicants. Or you may want to use the Sales Aptitude Test. It will help you assess behavioral and personality characteristics that are indicative of success in sales positions. It measures seven traits that are important to succeed in sales and yields one overall score. The test measures: * Achievement Motivation * Ego Strength (resilience to criticism, rejection or failure. Such people are able to maintain a positive attitude in the face of failure or rejection) * Energy * Enterprise * Persuasiveness * Self Confidence * Sociability The Sales Attitude Check List test will provide you with a quick measure of sales habits. Designed to reflect attitudes and behaviors, this test helps give you a clear picture of your sales applicants and/ or current staff. Sales skills are relatively easy to measure. There are two excellent tests for this: the Sales Aptitude Test as described above, and the Sales Professional Assessment Inventory. The Sales Professional Assessment Inventory measures the potential for success in sales and can be used to select inside or outside salespersons. It is used for personnel selection and placement and to identify training needs. It measures sales motivation, sales readiness and dependability. An unusual feature about this test is that it assesses sales arithmetic, business ethics and sales potential. Sales tests are excellent tools to help you find the right people, with the right skills in the shortest possible time. The costs range from under $20 to several hundred dollars, but the costs are more than offset by the savings in getting a qualified person who can produce those important sales in the least amount of time. If you don’t want to hire a salesperson like George, use a test to make sure you are getting someone better. This article first appeared here. John Towler is a Psychologist and the founder of Creative Organizational Design. He is a faculty member at the American College of PreHospital Medicine (USA), Breyer State University (USA), and Renison College and the University of Waterloo where he served as Principal and Chief Executive Officer. Visit www.creativeorgdesign.com Connect John Towler 30 Submit your Articles sales and service excellence essentials presented by HR.com | 10.2014


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